Truck of the Year Australasia 2024 goes to Western Star X-Series

Commercial Motor
March 22, 2024

The Western Star X-Series has been crowned truck of the year 2024 for Australasia. The judging panel found the X-Series triumphant against the other finalists, the Volvo F-Series Electric and Scania’s Super Series. Criteria for the award included safety standards and efficiency of transport in Australasia.

This year’s judges were PowerTorque editor Tim Giles, New Zealand Trucking Media editorial director Dave McCoid, FOCUS on Transport & Logistics editorial director Charleen Clarke, Bob Woodward the retired Australian Trucking Association’s chief engineer, and Randolph Covich, publisher of Deals on Wheels (New Zealand).

Penske Australia and New Zealand managing director, Hamish Christie-Johnston, said: “I am thrilled to receive the 2024 Truck of the Year Australasia award on behalf of our Australia and New Zealand Western Star teams. Since we launched the all-new X-Series in late 2022, we’ve received outstanding feedback from everyone who has driven the trucks. From customers to media personnel, the response has been unanimous that the X-Series is a seriously premium package.”

PowerTorque editor, Tim Giles, said: “When it comes to pure engineering, the way Scania took what was an excellent and a frugal driveline and redesigned all of the components, taking them to another level, is very impressive, and Volvo needed an electric alternative in the prime mover department and came up with a solution which turned a good to drive, well-designed truck into a good to drive, well-designed truck that also achieves zero emissions.

“In the new X-Series from Western Star, we see a completely different truck from its predecessor; the design brings the Western Star brand bang up to date. The X-Series includes all of the latest goodies like the Detroit DT12 AMT, which has performed well from the word go. For the traditionalist, there is still a Roadranger available, just to reassure us that the dying art of the truck driver is still with us.”

Focus on Transport & Logistics editorial director, Charleen Clarke, commented: “All three contenders are superb trucks! On the one hand, there was the Scania Super, a brilliant truck that proves the potential for the internal combustion engine. It does everything exceptionally well – but the potential for fuel savings is hugely appealing. This would definitely resonate with each and every transport operator.

“Then there was the Volvo. The company has done an astounding job of bringing e-mobility to truckers around the world. The FH is sublime in that a driver can just hop into it, drive the truck, and save the planet at the same time (yes, I know that’s a slight exaggeration).

“Finally, there was the Western Star X-Series. With its powerful driveline, better-than-ever safety features, comfortable and ergonomic cab, we all knew that the X-Series had to be in with a shot. The X-Series got the nod from me because it’s a huge leap forward for the brand. It’s also probably the ultimate truck for Australasian transport operators – and it can be rolled out right now.”

New Zealand Trucking Media editorial director, Dave McCoid, said: “After a couple of difficult rounds of discussion all five of us involved in the selection process were unanimous that the Western Star X-Series was this year’s winner. The X-Series circumvents several steps in what would normally be the evolutionary path for a truck at the stage the previous model was at, but being able to tap into the Daimler Truck North America platform has catapulted the X-Series to the pointy end of the market.

“The result not only increases choice in the marketplace for those whose customers have stringent safety requirements, but also raises the industry sector bar for the average level of capability. It also extends the challenge to competitors whose premium bonneted products might not match the X-Series in some core capabilities.

“In terms of the New Zealand market, offering an 8x4 in the 450kW hits the nail on the head. And lastly, there’s also that component in it that I love, the acknowledgement of lineage – who they are, being proud and honouring it, and knowing there’s still an active market. Yes, I’m talking gauges, gear levers, and grain on the dash. The sun is most definitely setting on that era in the industry, but not just yet if that’s what you want in your big, new, shiny Star. This is a well thought through market-wide offering.”

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Commercial Motor is the online presence for Commercial Motor magazine, the world’s oldest magazine dedicated to the commercial vehicle industry.

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